Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pastor Charged with Domestic Violence and DUI

Posted by Hannah at 8:44 AM

According to WSPA Dr. William Crews of The Awakening Hour has been charged with DUI, and a couple of days later was charged with domestic violence.

According to his website he is an alcholic, but admits to drinking some wine for medical reasons to the police. A couple of days later in his home his wife had to call the police due to domestic violence.

By Chris Cato
Published: August 12, 2008

The Highway Patrol says evangelist Dr. William Crews put lives in danger on the interstate, two days before his arrest on domestic violence charges.

Crews is the pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Moore, but is better known as the host of the internationally broadcast religious program “The Awakening Hour”.

On Tuesday, News Channel 7 learned Crews faces charges of driving under the influence and violating state liquor laws. A spokesperson for Highway Patrol Troop 6 says Crews was arrested on I-95 in Dorchester County on July 27th. The spokesperson says motorists called 911, saying Crews’ car was swerving across lanes and “driving very fast” near mile marker 55. The spokesperson says a state trooper caught up with Crews at mile marker 72 and pulled him over. He says Crews “appeared to be intoxicated” and failed field sobriety tests. He also says there was an open liquor bottle in the pastor’s car.

73-year old Crews was booked into Dorchester County Detention Center and released the next day on $1250 bond. The spokesperson would not say what Crews’ blood-alcohol level was at the time of his arrest because it will be used as evidence in his prosecution.

Crews denies driving drunk, but admits that he drank wine before getting into his car that day.

“I have a heart condition called atrial fibrillation,” said Crews in a phone interview. “I have found that the only way I can control it is by drinking a little alcohol.”

Crews says he drank “less than a half a bottle” of wine and put the empty bottle in his car before getting behind the wheel.

“I wasn’t drunk,” says Crews. “I didn’t drink enough to make me drunk.” When asked why motorists reported him swerving across lanes of traffic, Crews says he was trying to dial a number on his cell phone and lost control of his vehicle. He claims he was not speeding. And he says he never took a field sobriety test.

“The trooper never made me take a test,” says Crews. He claims he was charged with DUI without proper cause and will fight the charges in court.

Two days after the DUI arrest, Crews was arrested at his Inman home on a charge of criminal domestic violence. An incident report from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office states that Crews came home intoxicated and got into an argument with his wife. In the report, his wife states that he became enraged and threatened her, making her “fear for her safety” so she grabbed a pistol and locked herself in a bathroom. She called a relative who called 911. Later she told the deputy that Crews has hit her in the past but she has never reported it.

When reached for comment, Dr. Freda Crews, the pastor’s wife, did not wish to comment on the domestic incident itself, but stated that the argument was the result of her husband’s recent DUI arrest. She says she and her husband have agreed to live apart for the time being. Crews tells News Channel 7 he is now attending classes for anger management and alcohol abuse.

The website for “The Awakening Hour” says the program is seen in 125 countries. It states that early in his life, Dr. Crews was a professional pool hustler who became an alcoholic before being saved and entering the ministry. He has pastored numerous churches throughout the south, including East Gaffney Baptist Church.


Our prayers are with all involved, and I truly pray that he gets the help he needs within the classes he is partcipating in. Domestic violence can even happen within the homes of clergy. I hope the pastor and his wife continue to heal.

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